How to network while social distancing? You’ve probably already heard someone saying that we need to reinvent the ways we create and maintain connections while social distancing. No longer is the firm hand-shake acceptable.
Many professionals were pushed out of their comfort zone and had to adjust themselves to a new reality and uncertain future. As of March 22nd, almost one million people have filed for employment insurance in Canada and, unfortunately, numbers are expected to go higher. In times like this, it is essential that we feel connected despite our physical distance. We need to focus on a better future and the positive impact we can have on others. We need to stay together and rethink the way we connect.
It’s easy to get hired when you have connections; approximately 80% of new jobs aren’t listed on job search websites. According to Payscale, these positions are filled out internally or through networking.
Even if you’re not looking for a job right now, it’s important to establish connections for future opportunities. But how do you effectively build your network? Where can you find the right advice? Here are some tips to help you to put yourself out there!
Remember that we are all in the same boat, and dealing COVID-19 has been difficult for everyone. We are all struggling, so don’t think in just what you need, but also in the skills that you can offer to others and what you can help them to learn. Do not expect anything in return. Building connections is about giving, sharing and being helpful to others.
The idea of networking when you are the only one that has something to gain is dying, explained Christina Blacken, founder of The New Quo, during an interview for Forbes Maganize. Connections have to be meaningful for both ways and help each other to innovate, create and provide solutions.
Reconnect with people you’ve lost touch with because of your busy schedule. Start the conversation with honesty, explain why you were not able to reach out sooner. Remember to acknowledge a recent career milestone they have achieved.
Be helpful. Look out for ways to help your colleagues with their projects or introducing them to someone that can help. Maybe you can share an interesting article you read recently. Be warm, and you’ll see the results in the long run.
Instead of asking for a job, ask for advice, recommended Lesha Reese. Ask your connections about their company, their industry, and if they see different opportunities. If they are willing and can help, they will offer.
Network remotely seems evident while we’re confined to social distancing. But even during typical situations, it’s easier to find the right contact on an online platform than in an event with 500 people. An online community it’s the perfect environment for a quality conversation and to find like-minded people to connect.
Platforms made for networking can be a great help. TrustD has a feature called Coffee Connect, where you can easily find people based on their skills. To start using it, it’s easy! You fill out your profile with the abilities you have and the skills you interested in getting advice in. It’s more than a networking platform; it is a place to share and build ideas: a community.
You can sign up at any time and start making meaningful connections. The video below shows the process step-by-step: